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Video Card Upgrade On Inspiron


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#1 Tai MT

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 05:50 PM

Recently I purchased Starcraft II for the PC and discovered after installation that my computer is under the minimum specs the game wants. So, I've got choppy graphics. This is fine in single-player but would not help in multiplayer. So, I elected to buy a new Video Card (since that's all that was wrong) and upgrade so that I could play.

The guy at the local store was extremely helpful in helping me figure out which of their products to buy (they had only two, one was cheap and still under minimum requirements, the other costed me a small fortune but fell within the parameters of the game).

So, I checked to see if I had slots that I could put it into and I did, and then ran out and bought it, thinking it would be a simple install.

Boy, was I wrong.

The computer I have is a Dell Inspiron 531. And the card I bought is an ASUS ENGTS250. Now, the instructions for installing this sucker are extremely cryptic indeed.

The instructions tell me to hook this little cable up to the prongs on the card, and then hook up to an S/PDIF-Out header on my motherboard or sound card. Well, after an hour of looking for this little label and not finding it... I went online and googled my model and device. Apparantly, the Inspiron 531 does NOT have the component I need to hook this cable up to. The instructions state that this is only important if I have a NVIDIA GPU based graphics card. Okay, I have no idea what that means, but NVIDIA sounds familiar. I'm pretty sure I'm using one of those.

So, having no further instructions provided to me, I open up the second manual. It provides the same two pages as the first manual presents, except with different instructions. It's labelled "SpeedSetup".

So, I read the instructions and it tells me to basically just plop it into the system, plug my monitor into it, and if I've got an auxiliary power connector for my current graphics card, to connect the appropriate power plug from the system power supply to the graphics card's aux power connector.

Again, this is all a million miles of technobabble and gibberish to me. It shows a picture, but without proper labelling inside the computer, I have no idea what I'm looking for or even if it's on the system.

So, I plop the card in, taking care to be gentle and not touch any of the components... I get it all hooked up, hook up everything on my computer again, plug the power in... And my harddrive starts releasing this high pitched noise from somewhere in it's depths. I don't even bother to look at the screen to see if the computer is booted up, I just immediately hold the "on" button down for 10 seconds until the thing turns off. Obviously, it's not supposed to make that noise.

So, now, here I am.

I'm wondering if I spent $200 on a piece of hardware that is otherwise incompatible with my system. And if it is compatible with my system at all, how on earth would I go about hooking it up?

Oh, and if it's NOT compatible at all, can I get some recommendations on what WOULD be compatible, that also falls into the minimum requires that Starcraft II uses?

Help is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

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#2 the_patriot11

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 06:50 PM

the GTS 250 is a NVIDIA card. And most likely your problem lies in the Power supply. Is this your computer? and your problem is most likely your power supply, you need a minimum 450 watt, if not 500-550 watt PSU to run that card, while the dell inspiron as maybe a 350 watt if I remember right, and a weak one at that, and if Im understanding your description right, You need a power connector from the PSU which your dell most likely doesnt have. You will need a 450+ watt PSU with a 6 pin PCI express power connector, something like this ought to do the job.

picard5.jpg

 

Primary system: Motherboard: ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3, Processor: AMD Phenom II x4 945, Memory: 16 gigs of Patriot G2 DDR3 1600, Video: AMD Sapphire Nitro R9 380, Storage: 1 WD 500 gig HD, 1 Hitachi 500 gig HD, and Power supply: Coolermaster 750 watt, OS: Windows 10 64 bit. 

Media Center: Motherboard: Gigabyte mp61p-S3, Processor: AMD Athlon 64 x2 6000+, Memory: 6 gigs Patriot DDR2 800, Video: Gigabyte GeForce GT730, Storage: 500 gig Hitachi, PSU: Seasonic M1211 620W full modular, OS: Windows 10.

If I don't reply within 24 hours of your reply, feel free to send me a pm.


#3 Tai MT

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 12:27 AM

Yes, the third one down on that page looks like my computer. Except, mine has a lot more memory and etcetera. I thought I was set on "minimum specs" since my computer is only a little over a year old.

As for the interior of this monstrosity...

It's basically all attached to the motherboard. I have no way of detaching anything from it, including some of the power supply stuff. Or, if there is a way, I'm not sure how on earth to do it.

See, this is my first "upgrade" I've ever performed on a computer. The only exception was the installation of an ethernet card some years back on an older computer.

All of this is quite new to me, and I don't want to spending money or rooting around further in my computer without knowing what I'm doing or where it goes. Much less, if any of it would even work.

#4 the_patriot11

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 03:19 AM

everything comes off in one way or another. The power supply cable you just follow the cable from the PSU to the motherboard, there should be a long rectangular hookup with a clip on one side, squeeze the clip and gently pull and it should come off. Make sure its a 24 pin, and then if you decide to order a new PSU insert the new one in the same way. All the other components should just pull out, and the PSU is held in by 4 screws. If your still uncomfortable, you may be better off bringing the computer in to a computer shop and having them do it for you.

picard5.jpg

 

Primary system: Motherboard: ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3, Processor: AMD Phenom II x4 945, Memory: 16 gigs of Patriot G2 DDR3 1600, Video: AMD Sapphire Nitro R9 380, Storage: 1 WD 500 gig HD, 1 Hitachi 500 gig HD, and Power supply: Coolermaster 750 watt, OS: Windows 10 64 bit. 

Media Center: Motherboard: Gigabyte mp61p-S3, Processor: AMD Athlon 64 x2 6000+, Memory: 6 gigs Patriot DDR2 800, Video: Gigabyte GeForce GT730, Storage: 500 gig Hitachi, PSU: Seasonic M1211 620W full modular, OS: Windows 10.

If I don't reply within 24 hours of your reply, feel free to send me a pm.


#5 Tai MT

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 12:53 PM

Are you sure this particular one won't blow out my motherboard when I install it, or cause some other kind of damage? Motherboards are expensive and so was this computer when I first bought it... I can't be throwing a lot of money around willy-nilly.

#6 the_patriot11

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 02:18 PM

It shouldnt, as long as everything plugs in right. Word of advice, if you have to force it, your either doing it wrong-or its not compatible, you should never have to force anything. I have had one motherboard, that I ordered, that I had to kinda force the CPU into the socket-however, that is the exception, not the rule. but like I said, if your not comfortable doing it, I would advise finding a buddy who knows their way around computers or taking it down to the computer shop.

picard5.jpg

 

Primary system: Motherboard: ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3, Processor: AMD Phenom II x4 945, Memory: 16 gigs of Patriot G2 DDR3 1600, Video: AMD Sapphire Nitro R9 380, Storage: 1 WD 500 gig HD, 1 Hitachi 500 gig HD, and Power supply: Coolermaster 750 watt, OS: Windows 10 64 bit. 

Media Center: Motherboard: Gigabyte mp61p-S3, Processor: AMD Athlon 64 x2 6000+, Memory: 6 gigs Patriot DDR2 800, Video: Gigabyte GeForce GT730, Storage: 500 gig Hitachi, PSU: Seasonic M1211 620W full modular, OS: Windows 10.

If I don't reply within 24 hours of your reply, feel free to send me a pm.


#7 TheoSqua

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 02:38 PM

Generally if the piece fits into the hole, and you don't try to vacuum out the inside of your computer to get rid of the dust before hand, you won't blow up your computer.

I bought some bad ram from Best Buy a few years ago that fried a mobo, that's about the worst that's ever happened to me though.

#8 Tai MT

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 05:22 PM

See, I still don't know about this piece of equipment, just because of how it looks. If it goes where I think it goes (namely where you plug the computer into the socket, if I'm right), then the fan would be blowing into a wall on the interior of the thing, or towards two other fans on the inside. And since the piece I got is aimed OUT of the PC (I have two fans that blow air out on the back, one for power supply, one for harddrive... The Processor has it's own smaller separate fan on the inside) I don't think this one would work properly or at all. Well, unless that grating there somehow vents air out of the system (which doesn't look like that's what it's supposed to do).

This is what I'm looking at:

http://images.highspeedbackbone.net/SKUima...all06-ce-xd.jpg

#9 the_patriot11

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 06:19 PM

that power supply sucks air in from the inside of the case, and the vent on the back is where it goes out, most PSUs have a similar setup. This one only uses one fan, the one on the inside, but it will work as effective, if not more so, then the one you have already. The alternative, is to find a lower rated video card, however, since you only have a 300 watt PSU currently, and a weak one at that, finding a video card that will work with it will most likely put you in the same boat you were in before-a computer that won't do what you want to do. If you really want that fan on the back (honestly, that coolermaster will work just fine) you can use a different PSU, one like this will work fine as well.

Edited by the_patriot09, 30 July 2010 - 06:23 PM.

picard5.jpg

 

Primary system: Motherboard: ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3, Processor: AMD Phenom II x4 945, Memory: 16 gigs of Patriot G2 DDR3 1600, Video: AMD Sapphire Nitro R9 380, Storage: 1 WD 500 gig HD, 1 Hitachi 500 gig HD, and Power supply: Coolermaster 750 watt, OS: Windows 10 64 bit. 

Media Center: Motherboard: Gigabyte mp61p-S3, Processor: AMD Athlon 64 x2 6000+, Memory: 6 gigs Patriot DDR2 800, Video: Gigabyte GeForce GT730, Storage: 500 gig Hitachi, PSU: Seasonic M1211 620W full modular, OS: Windows 10.

If I don't reply within 24 hours of your reply, feel free to send me a pm.


#10 Tai MT

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 07:56 AM

Alright, I'll look into the first option. Well, as soon as I can afford it. Thanks for the help.

#11 the_patriot11

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Posted 03 August 2010 - 10:05 PM

Not a problem, feel free to come back with any questions.

picard5.jpg

 

Primary system: Motherboard: ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3, Processor: AMD Phenom II x4 945, Memory: 16 gigs of Patriot G2 DDR3 1600, Video: AMD Sapphire Nitro R9 380, Storage: 1 WD 500 gig HD, 1 Hitachi 500 gig HD, and Power supply: Coolermaster 750 watt, OS: Windows 10 64 bit. 

Media Center: Motherboard: Gigabyte mp61p-S3, Processor: AMD Athlon 64 x2 6000+, Memory: 6 gigs Patriot DDR2 800, Video: Gigabyte GeForce GT730, Storage: 500 gig Hitachi, PSU: Seasonic M1211 620W full modular, OS: Windows 10.

If I don't reply within 24 hours of your reply, feel free to send me a pm.





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